I was born and raised in Kansas and learned to cook alongside my mother. Now, along with my wonderful husband, I have taken the plunge into the city life in New York. These are my food adventures: in my own tiny kitchen, and in the many restaurants of the city.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Garlic Mustard Pesto and Gnocchi

In April I spent part of one day wandering around off the trails in Prospect Park gathering up a few wild edibles. I go through a phase almost every spring where I want to go out and round up the free bounty in the park and use it to create dinner, but never actually get around to it (besides picking a bit of wild garlic here and there). This year, driven I think mostly by the belief that I would for sure stumble upon a patch of ramps, I went out and spent an hour or so finally carrying out my plans. I never did find that patch of ramps I was hoping for, but came across some other greens for dinner.

I decided to take the garlic mustard and wild garlic bulbs and blend them together to form a pesto. Since the garlic mustard was pretty young the flavor wasn't terribly strong, but I hear that as it gets older it gets much more intense. I think that is why it is often cut with parsley in pesto recipes. I took this sauce with a kick and tossed it with one of my favorite ricotta gnocchi recipes from Steamy Kitchen (it includes lemon zest and chopped parsley in the recipe to give it a bright bite and is fried before tossing with the pesto so it is nice and crispy).

Garlic Mustard Pesto and Gnocchi
3-4 servings

1 recipe ricotta gnocchi*
1 c. parsley
1 c. garlic mustard
3 wild garlic bulbs
1/4 c. almonds
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnishing
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper
extra virgin olive oil

*Make the gnocchi based on Steamy Kitchen's recipe. I find that after cutting the gnocchi into pieces it will hold up better during cooking if you place them onto a parchment paper covered sheet pan in the fridge for an hour or so. After frying you will not toss the gnocchi with chili flakes as in her recipe, instead you will toss it with the garlic mustard pesto and then top with a bit more Parmesan before serving.

To make the pesto: place the parsley, garlic mustard, wild garlic bulbs, almonds, Parmesan cheese and lemon juice into a food processor. Process briefly and then add the extra virgin olive oil in a stream as you process until the mixture comes together and is just barely loose (you want it to toss easily in the pasta). Taste it and add salt and pepper as needed. Toss the pesto with the fried gnocchi to serve.


That Girl said...

I'm so impressed you had any kind of successful forage!

Emily said...

Very nice! I am impressed as well. The gnocchi looks amazing! I wish I could cook as well as you.

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